2022 – The year to #BeLikeBetty
Last year, at about this same time, I composed my first article for CUInsight. I led with this opening:
“Whew! We made it to 2021! And so far, so good. We still have Betty White and Gloria Gaynor. 2020 did not get them!”
Little did I know, New Year’s Eve 2021, Betty would be gone, passing just before the new year and her 100th birthday. I cursed when the notification popped up on my phone. 2022 came in with a fizzle.
New Year’s Day was filled with news and remembrances of Betty. It was wonderful to be reminded of her lifetime achievements in the entertainment industry. Then it occurred to me – I need to check on Gloria! I quickly googled her name. Thank God! She’s still with us. Not only is she still with us, she’s tweeting and instagramming about Betty White!
“I am so saddened to hear of the passing of the beloved & cherished #BettyWhite, an American Comedy Icon, who will be held in fond memory by generations for decades to come. She made us laugh and so it is only natural that her passing makes us all cry, if only on the inside.”
To the general public, that was Betty … actress, comedian, and entertainer. But she was so much more than that. She was an activist and humanitarian. She pushed boundaries and was outspoken about things that weren’t always popular.
In 1954, she refused to remove a black man (because he was black), Arthur Duncan, from her television show, The Betty White Show. She simply said, “I’m sorry. Live with it.” She continued to push the envelope by giving Arthur even more screen time.
She was a supporter of LGBTQ rights. She said plainly, “”If a couple has been together all that time – and there are gay relationships that are more solid than some heterosexual ones – I think it’s fine if they want to get married. I don’t know how people can get so anti-something. Mind your own business, take care of your affairs, and don’t worry about other people so much.”
“Throughout my career, I’ve always portrayed characters that were humorous, but also weren’t afraid to speak their minds, especially when it came to racy or controversial topics … I think this struck a chord with the LGBT community.”
She was a huge animal welfare advocate. She was involved with many organizations to raise awareness and to support our animal friends and family. She even touched my local community in Charleston, West Virginia, by recording a commercial for the Kanawha-Charleston Humane Association.
Betty was everywhere doing lots of good things … and progressive things. Who knew?
And everyone loved Betty. Everyone.
What if credit unions were more like Betty White? Taking a stand. Being authentic. Pushing the envelope. Being progressive instead of playing it safe with the status quo? Are we afraid of alienating the masses for simply doing the right thing?
I know the credit union movement’s history is full of lots of un-status quo events we’ve never heard. That’s one of the reasons why credit unions were created. We stand up and make solutions for those shunned by the mainstream … and go places and do things that others won’t.
Don’t let fear stop you.
When you’re afraid to stand up for that cause that’s not so popular, remember Betty … and maybe eat a Snickers.
In 2022, I dare you to #BeLikeBetty.